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So me and three friends started playing pathfinder (I also joined in as a character which I know is odd for a GM, but I'll admit, it's quite easy to run him with the other characters, anywho...), I set up a good starter mission for them but I admit the village they started in is pretty basic and none of the npc's are fleshed out.

Basically they have an entire world to explore that is currently in the era of advanced firearms and airships, but how do you organize it? With so many thousands of towns and cities, shops, people and dungeons how can you keep track of what is where without becoming cluttered and disorganized?
eg, how do you keep inventory of each shop the heroes come across? How do you determine a dungeon's overall CR and decide what monsters and traps lay within? how do you keep tabs of all the people your character's know? How do you keep tabs on what items have what effect?

I don't know, if there was a condensed summary for goods and magic items (plus what effects they have when consumed)then at least managing the shop portion would grow easier. I just felt a bit overwhelmed my first few times, so I ended the session a few months back, but I think I'm ready to take the reins again. It's just really hard to write missions and create characters while simultaneously having to keep track of where the characters have been and what is still there when they return.
Keeping track of people, places and things is not a strong forte of mine.

If anyone can offer me a program that allows me to organize each town better or can offer me a more summarized list of consumables and items it would be most appreciated.

Also, each of my friends wants to create a career path for themselves, build a house and start a business. I thought an interesting and less permanent way for them all to set up shop would be to run an alchemical caravan, basically an alchemically powered cart pulling other carts in tow behind that contain the essentials for running their separate businesses. (eg, the alchemically powered cart also functions as a blacksmithing furnace, the cart behind it is for treasure and goods, the cart behind that contains scrolls, books magic items and alchemical supplies and the cart behind that is for allies and travellers to rest in while on the road)

Anyways, tell me what you think, I am in desperate need of suggestions. :P


thanks for all your help guys. i think i've decided to just have them ask me if there is anything around them that they can interact with. this should make things easier for them. i'm also going to go one step further. i saw a dm who uses a reward system for players that act quickly (making their decisions in one minute or less) where they are granted an extra action point. i think that will help them out alot when they're first starting out. it's basically baby steps with all of us since this will be our first rpg


another nooby GM question that i didn't pick up from reading the books is how to do a battle without the actual grid. i'm starting a pre-made campaign (RoTRL) and it describes a scene with goblins running amok in a festival. though it doesn't give a battle grid for this encounter.
i don't quite know if it is mentioned in any of the rulebooks on how to run an encounter without the grid. and i'm quite lost on how to keep track of my characters movement and interaction when they are free roaming the village afterwards.
i'm also not sure if this rules discussion is a touchy topic with paizo since these rules probably exist somewhere. so please private message me if it is an issue...

in fact, what i need is an example scenario showing me the gameplay mechanics of how to run a full scene without a battle grid


well, i went all out and purchased the core rulebook and bestiary. my friends have all finished making their characters and i'm going to be starting with the simple Master of the Fallen Fortress starter campaign to get them comfortable (it's their first time playing an rpg in years as well as mine)
after that intro into pathfinder our real campaign will begin. i'm going to restart them on Hollows Last Hope and continue on to Crown of the Kobold King.
seems like a pretty solid plan right? well it's the fact that i only played an rpg once nearly 8 years ago and got eaten by a purple worm within the first half hour and didn't absorb too much info.
i want someone to help me. a very experienced GM who can guide me through the first couple steps of becoming a good GM. i'm not lacking in plot and story. i know how to keep a game moving story-wise but i'm afraid i won't be able to keep it moving rules-wise...
i don't want to be a GM who has to constantly hold up the game to look up rules, and i certainly could use some pointers on proper map drawing.
i really hope to also learn more about combat and magic.
if you're interested in helping tutor me, please reply below before the end of next week (that's when i want to really start planning my campaigns)